Metropolia and Riesa Consultative work to improve accessibility on campuses

25.4.2024 - 12:51

Metropolia University of Applied Sciences and accessibility and equality specialist Riesa Consultative are collaborating to improve accessibility on Metropolia's campuses.

Accessibility on campuses means effortless mobility, easy access to buildings and stair-free movement from one place to another. Accessibility is also about clear instructions and signage, appropriate lighting and adequate acoustics and audio. The accessibility of Metropolia's campuses will be strengthened in a comprehensive way, taking into account the auditive, visual and mobility aspects of the environment. The aim of the collaboration is to improve the well-being and experience of students, staff and visitors. At the beginning of the collaboration, accessibility mappings were conducted for all four campuses of Metropolia, which helped determine the current level of accessibility of the premises.

"In an accessible learning and working environment, everyone can work equally regardless of their abilities. Improving accessibility benefits everyone. Riesa Consultative is an important partner for us and can support our commitment to continuous improvement," says Patrik Kuhlman, Head of Facility Services at Metropolia.

“Metropolia is a pioneer, as previously the level of accessibility couldn't be numerically measured. It's great to collaborate with Metropolia and that they want to be among the first to adopt the accessibility index. We look forward to continuing the collaboration with great enthusiasm!” concludes accessibility consultant Ella-Riikka Isometsä from Riesa Consultative.

Three people looking at a campus map.
From left to right: Pia Monthan and Patrik Kuhlman from Metropolia and Ella-Riikka Isometsä from Riesa Consultative.

The accessibility of Metropolia's campuses was first assessed

The campus accessibility development project started in 2023 with the need to renew campus-specific arrival instructions to better accommodate special groups.

The first step was accessibility assessments of all four campuses. The campuses were assessed according to the student pathway, taking into account the accessibility of the auditory, visual and mobility environment. The assessments provided information on the current state of accessibility of the facilities and the need for improvement. By analyzing the findings of the assessments, an accessibility index was created for each campus, providing an accurate and real-time status of accessibility on each campus.

”The data obtained will be utilized in accessibility management: accessibility can be developed systematically, target levels can be set, and changes can be monitored. In the first phase, the focus will be on easily implementable measures, and planning for future years' actions will begin.”, explains Ella-Riikka Isometsä from Riesa Consultative.

The comprehensive assessment of campuses and the campus accessibility index will create a basis for continuous development work.

"We want to develop our campuses in the long term and create uniform opportunities for users of Metropolia's campuses to participate. I believe that we can achieve this goal through good planning and cooperation," says Patrik Kuhlman, Head of Facility Services at Metropolia.

More information:

Patrik Kuhlman
Head of Facility Services, Metropolia University of Applied Sciences

Ella-Riikka Isometsä
Accessibility consultant, Riesa Consultative Oy